The boat Das Schiff in the 20th annual King Harbor Christmas Boat Parade on Saturday Dec. 10, 2011. File photo. (Sean Hiller / Staff Photographer)
Bonfire, an AC/DC tribute band, hits the Saint Rocke stage on Friday night. (Photo used by permission)
Boat Parades Light Up the Harbors: Boats strung with holiday lights will sail around the Port of Los Angeles on Saturday, kicking off the season of floating parades from San Pedro to Marina del Rey. Unlike past years, some will be happy to hear there's no overlap; the area's three boat parades this year all fall on different weekends. On Saturday, organizers of the Los Angeles Harbor Holiday Afloat Parade hope to see at least 50 boats join the event that's marking a milestone anniversary. The theme: "50 Golden Years of Holiday Lights." Vessels will start circling the Main Channel at 6 p.m., with Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Buscaino serving as parade grand marshal. | » Read more on local boat parades | » USS Iowa turns on its Christmas lights Saturday
Torrance Memorial Medical Center's 29th Annual Holiday Festival: Fundraiser for the center's Patient Tower under construction; more than 30 themed decorated evergreen trees, entertainment, holiday gifts, children's activities and food court; admission $5; 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday; Torrance Memorial Medical Center, 3330 Lomita Blvd., Torrance; 310-517-4606; Torrance Memorial.
Parade of Lights: Palos Verdes Peninsula Holiday Parade, sponsored by the city of Rolling Hills Estates; floats, marching bands, equestrian units, classic cars, drill teams, community and civic groups and Santa Claus; 6 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday; travels along Silver Spur Road and Deep Valley Drive, through the Promenade on the Peninsula to Norris Center Drive (Crossfield Drive) in Rolling Hills Estates.
Common Sense performs Saturday at Saint Rocke in Hermosa Beach. (Photo used by permission)
Holiday Boutique: Imaginative Creations' 31st annual event features handcrafted gifts, decorations, country crafts, Hummels, Disney collections, retired ornaments, comic books and more. 6218 Scotmist Drive, Rancho Palos Verdes. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. now through Sunday. The sale repeats Dec. 8-10 and Dec. 15-17. Proceeds will go to the Braille Institute. Call 310-541-3185.
Tree Lighting Ceremony: Join Inglewood's mayor and council members for the city's annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony. The event will be at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Inglewood City Hall, One Manchester Blvd. Highlights include entertainment, arts and crafts, refreshments and a visit by Santa. Call 310-412-8750;
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Holiday Ice Rink: There's ice in the forecast for Culver City this holiday season, now through Jan. 7, with the debut of the Holiday Ice Rink, 9300 Culver Blvd., just off Washington Blvd. Admission is $10, and children 12 and under are $6 for one-hour sessions. Skate rental is $4. Parking is available at the Ince Parking Structure, 9099 Washington Blvd. The first two hours are free; Holiday Ice Rink also has skating at Pershing Square in downtown Los Angeles. Holiday Ice Rink.
Rick Estrin & the Nightcats: Blues. 9 p.m. Friday, Cafe Boogaloo, 1238 Hermosa Ave., Hermosa Beach; $10; Cafe Boogaloo.
AC/DC Tribute: Bonfire, a tribute to AC/DC, Metal 101, Without Warning and Jay Stevens. 9 p.m. Friday, (doors open at 5 p.m.), Saint Rocke, 142 Pacific Coast Highway, Hermosa Beach; tickets $10; 310-372-0035; Saint Rocke.
Attika 7: With DevilSeed, Great Gods of Greed, and Core 10, 8 p.m. Friday (doors open at 7 p.m.), Brixton South Bay, 100 Fisherman's Wharf, Redondo Beach; tickets $15/$20; 310-406-1931; Brixton South Bay.
Workers hoist the Circus Vargas big top tent in Torrance recently. The circus will be in San Pedro, beginning Thursday. (Photo by Steve McCrank / Staff Photographer)
Holiday Classic Onstage: South Bay Conservatory presents the holiday classic "Scrooge! The Musical: A Christmas Carol." James Armstrong Theatre, 3330 Civic Center Drive, Torrance. 7:30 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Special holiday surprises start one hour prior to showtime. Tickets are $20.50 at the door. Call 310-781-7171; James Armstrong Theatre.
Come to the Stable: 1949 movie with Loretta Young and Celeste Holm; 8:15 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Old Town Music Hall, 140 Richmond St., El Segundo; tickets $8; 310-322-2592; Old Town Music Hall.
Holiday Homes Tour: This weekend's 20th annual Sandpipers event will feature four decorated homes in Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach, plus a bonus home. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Attendees also can stop by the Holiday Boutique and Cafe at the Neptunian Woman's Club, 920 Highland Ave. A wine tasting will be held from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Bank of Manhattan. Proceeds will benefit more than 60 local charities. $25 in advance, $30 on tour days. For tickets, home locations and details, go to Sandpipers.
Cliff Wagner & the Old #7: Bluegrass holiday show, 8 p.m. Saturday, Grand Annex, 434 W. Sixth St., San Pedro; tickets $15/$20; 310-833-4813; Grand Annex.
The WEE Trio: Jazz, 8 p.m. Saturday, Alvas Showroom, 1417 W. Eighth St., San Pedro; suggested donation $20; 800-403-3447; Alvas Showroom.
Common Sense: Reggae rock, with Laughing Stalk and Trenchtown, 9 p.m. Saturday (doors open at 6 p.m.) Saint Rocke, 142 Pacific Coast Highway, Hermosa Beach; tickets $15; 310-372-0035; Saint Rocke Calendar.
Zen Robbi: With Garrett Lee Robinson, Josh Fischel & The Fiction, and Remedy For Kill, 8 p.m. Saturday (doors open at 7:30 p.m.), Brixton South Bay, 100 Fisherman's Wharf, Redondo Beach; tickets $10/$15; 310-406-1931; Brixton South Bay Calendar.
Palos Verdes Art Center: "My Materials - My Magic - My Muse!," a workshop in alternative and other media, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday; $10 for materials, may bring own supplies and lunch; $75 nonmembers, $50 PVAC members. "L'aura borealis: 100 Ways to Look at the Muse," an exploration of what inspires artists to create, on view through Dec. 30. Hours, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 1-4 p.m. Sunday; Promenade on the Peninsula, 550 Deep Valley Drive, Suite 261, Rolling Hills Estates, 310-541-2479; PV Art Center.
PS Zask Gallery: Live and silent art auction to benefit the development of South Bay Arts Foundation; $35 at the door includes food, wine and $35 credit toward any auction purchase of $100 or more; 6-9 p.m. Saturday, Promenade on the Peninsula, 550 Deep Valley Drive, Suite 151, Rolling Hills Estates, 310-429-0973; PS Zask Gallery.
The Word is ART Gallery: Grand opening event for the co-op venture; exhibit highlights works of 15 artists who work in a range of media; 6-10 p.m. Saturday, 9349 Venice Blvd., Culver City; 310-558-0856; The Word Is ART.
Tyrone Wells: The singer-songwriter ushers in his fourth album, sharing the stage with Andrew Belle and Tom Jordan, 7 p.m. Sunday, (doors open at 6 p.m.), 21 and over; Tickets $18; 142 Pacific Coast Highway, Hermosa Beach; 310-372-0035; Saint Rocke.
Chamber Orchestra of the South Bay: Program includes works by Mozart, Schumann and Beethoven and soloist pianist Rufus Choi, illustrated preview talk 7:15 p.m., concert 8 p.m. Sunday; tickets, $40, available through a waiting list at the box office, 310-544-0403; Chamber Orchestra of South Bay.
Tapestry. Carole King Tribute: 4 p.m. Sunday, Alvas Showroom, 1417 W. Eighth St., San Pedro; tickets/suggested donation $20; 800-403-3447; Alvas Showroom.
The Revenger's Tragedy: Thomas Middleton's 17th-century play about the darkness within and how it can take over our lives, opens at 8 p.m. Friday and plays at 8 p.m. Saturday and Dec. 7-8, 2 p.m. Dec. 9, Cal State Dominguez Hills, University Theatre, 1000 E. Victoria St., Carson; tickets $15/$12; 310-243-3588; CSUDH Theatre Arts.
Fortinbras: Kentwood Players presents the political farce that starts where Shakespeare's "Hamlet" left off, plays at 8 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday through Dec. 15, Westchester Playhouse, 8301 Hindry Ave.; tickets $16/$18 (recommended for mature audiences); 310-645-5156; Kentwood Players. | 3 STARS: Read the review
Present Laughter: Little Fish Theatre presents the Noel Coward comedy about a British actor who finds himself in entanglements with a variety of women, plays at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday through Dec. 15, with additional performances 2 p.m. Dec. 2, 7 p.m. Dec. 9, and 8 p.m. Dec. 13; no shows Nov. 23 and 24, Little Fish Theatre, 777 Centre St., San Pedro; tickets $25/$23; 310-512-6030; Little Fish Theatre.
TAKE THE KIDS
Wednesday: Barney Bear Storytime: Puppet Barney Bear shares stories, songs and silliness; recommended for children ages 2-5; 10:15 and 11 a.m. every Wednesday, Peninsula Center Library, 701 Silver Spur Road, Rolling Hills Estates; pick up free tickets at Young Readers' Desk 15 minutes prior to story time; 310-377-9584.
Historical Mysteries: Author event features Thomas Thorpe signing his Darmon historical mysteries, 11 a.m. Saturday, Barnes & Noble, 1800 Rosecrans Ave., Manhattan Beach, 310-725-7025.
"The American Heiress": Malaga Cove Library, 2400 Via Campesina, Palos Verdes Estates, 310-377-9584, Ext. 551. Meets 2 p.m. first Saturday: "The American Heiress" by Daisy Goodwin.
"1222": Book discussion group, North Torrance Library, 3604 Artesia Blvd.,310-323-7200. Mystery group meets 6:30 p.m. first Monday: "1222" by Anne Holt.
"Blue Shoe": El Retiro Library, 126 Vista Del Parque, Redondo Beach, 310-375-0922. Book discussion group meets 10:30 a.m. first Tuesday: "Blue Shoe" by Anne Lamott.
"Ready Player One": Katy Geissert Civic Center Library, 3301 Torrance Blvd., Torrance, 310-618-5959. Science fiction and fantasy group meets 7 p.m. first Wednesday: "Ready Player One" by Ernest Cline.
"Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness": Barnes & Noble, Del Amo Fashion Center, 21500 Hawthorne Blvd., Torrance, 310-370-5552. First Monday Book Group (fiction) meets 7 p.m. first Monday: "Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness" by Alexandra Fuller. Bilingual Book Club meets 7:30 p.m. first Tuesday. Romance Readers Book Group meets 11 a.m. first Wednesday.
Angels Gate Cultural Center: "Reef Cycle," eco-awareness exhibit by Melise Mestayer, in Project Space gallery, on view through Jan. 4. Gallery hours, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday; 3601 S. Gaffey St., San Pedro; 310-519-0936; Angels Gate Art.
Los Angeles Maritime Museum: "Stranded: The Twilight of the Ocean Liner," black-and-white photos by Martin Cox of cruise ships in the days leading up to their being scrapped or sunk, on view through Jan. 6. Hours, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday- Sunday; Berth 84, Sixth Street and Harbor Boulevard, San Pedro, 310-548-7618; L.A. Maritime Museum.
Loyola Marymount University: Thomas P. Kelly Gallery, "Return to the Sea," artist Motoi Yamamoto's site-specific saltscape; on view through Dec. 8. Hours, noon-4 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday; Laband Art Gallery, Fritz B. Burns Art Center, 1 LMU Drive, Westchester, 310-338-2880, LMU Gallery. | » READ MORE.
Palos Verdes Art Center: "L'aura borealis: 100 Ways to Look at the Muse," an exploration of what inspires artists to create, on view through Dec. 30. Hours, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday- Saturday, 1-4 p.m. Sunday; Promenade on the Peninsula, 550 Deep Valley Drive, Suite 261, Rolling Hills Estates (temporary location);, 5504 W. Crestridge Road, Rancho Palos Verdes, 310-541-2479; PV Art Center.
Tuesday: Picasso Art Talk. Artful Days: Picasso: His Women, His Art, 12:10 to 1 p.m. Tuesday, George Nakano Theatre, 3330 Civic Center Drive, Torrance; free; 310-618-2326.
Thursday: Circus Vargas: Big-top circus with a touch of Broadway, Thursday to Dec. 10, Ports O'Call Village, 1199 Nagoya Way, San Pedro; tickets $20-$65; show times and ticket information, 877-468-3861; Circus Vargas. | PHOTO GALLERY
Thursday: Authority Zero: With Hoist the Colors, eken is dead, Fayuca and Walter, 8 p.m. Thursday (doors open at 7:30 p.m.), Brixton South Bay, 100 Fisherman's Wharf, Redondo Beach; tickets $10/$15; 310-406-1931; Brixton South Bay Calendar.
Dec. 7: Catalina's Role in World War II: Catalina Island Museum details the island's participation in World War II in an exhibition that opens Friday, Dec. 7 on Avalon. It will continue to April 28. "First Line of Defense: Catalina Island and World War II" will explore how Catalina was transformed from a carefree paradise into a Federal Military Zone (and designated the San Pedro Channel a controlled area for vessels) used for training, coastal defense and covert operations. Derived from the Catalina Island Museum's own extensive archive, the exhibt will feature letters, photographs, rare film footage of training exercises, top-secret weapons and recently declassified military documents. The museum, its digital theater and store are on the ground floor of Avalon's historic Casino and open seven days a week, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are $10. For more information, call 310-510-2414 or visit Catalina Museum.
U.S. Navy sailors march down the streets of Catalina during World War II. The island's contribution to the war effort is detailed in a new exhibit opening Dec. 7 in Avalon. Photo used by permission
As more Californians than ever explore drought-tolerant landscape alternatives, two upcoming garden tours shine a spotlight on low-water native plants. On April 26 and 27, some 60 gardens on the Peninsula and in the Santa Clara Valley will be open to visitors. And on May 4, some 40 East Bay gardens, from Fremont to Martinez, will be open too.